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Waterrock Knob

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.4 (5) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Milepost 451.2, Waterrock Knob is Plott Balsam Mountain Range's tallest peak.


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Map Key

1.0

Miles

1.5

KM

54%

Runnable

6,266' 1,910 m

High

5,829' 1,777 m

Low

437' 133 m

Up

437' 133 m

Down

17%

Avg Grade (10°)

44%

Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Spring · Views

Overview

Waterrock Knob is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 18.0 miles from the southern end of the Parkway. At an elevation of 6,292 feet, Waterrock Knob is the 16th highest mountain in the Eastern United States.

Need to Know

The Waterrock Knob Visitor Center and Park Store is located here and open seasonally. Restrooms are available and wheelchair accessible. There are no fees required to visit Waterrock Knob.

Description

The run to the summit is a 1.2-mile round-trip. It is a very steep climb and gains 412 feet in elevation. Great views are available along the way to the summit. Don't let the paved first 0.25 miles of the trail fool you—it is steep but smooth and temporarily provides a respite from the climb with a small rock-walled viewing area overlook where you can catch your breath.

The rest of the climb is steep and rocky. At the summit, there are various spots where you can get long-distance views, but not a total, 360 degree one. If it is a clear day, you can probably see 50 miles to the highest peaks in the Great Smoky Mountains. Between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Great Balsam Mountains is the Plott Balsams Mountains.

Contacts

Land Manager: Blue Ridge Parkway

Shared By:

Victor Stephenson

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#2602

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
5 Star
40%
4 Star
60%
3 Star
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1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#2,602

Overall
32 Views Last Month
1,091 Since Nov 20, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Rays and ridges from Waterrock Knob. Photo by Robert Stephens.
Mar 24, 2016 near Maggie…, NC
sunrise at Waterrock Knob
Mar 23, 2020 near Maggie…, NC
Sunrise on the top of Waterrock Knob
Mar 2, 2019 near Maggie…, NC
Top of Waterrock Knob
Jun 10, 2019 near Maggie…, NC
View from summit looking back down at parking lot.
Nov 21, 2018 near Maggie…, NC
View from summit.
Nov 21, 2018 near Maggie…, NC

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